Washing-machine toddler: Mother didn’t know until video was on TV

Having your child get stuck in a washing machine is one thing. Not knowing about it until you see it on the news -- after a video of the incident has gone viral -- is something else.

That’s how a New Jersey mom learned that her son was at the heart of a national news story.

Earlier this week, media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, reported that a toddler had been placed playfully into a washing machine at a Camden, N.J., Laundromat on May 11.


As The Times described the incident: “After a curious toddler peers curiously through the glass door of one spinning washing machine, his father playfully picks him up and places him into the empty machine next to it, then closes the door. The mother, standing nearby, does not appear concerned. But both parents leap into frantic action seconds later when the machine automatically starts tossing its live load.”

The washer was soon opened and the boy was removed unharmed, the story said, and the police were searching for the family to ensure that the child was safe.

But Sakia David, the mother of the child, told police this week that she’s not the woman in the video, said Jason Laughlin, spokesman for the Camden County prosecutor’s office, in an interview with The Times on Saturday. And, David said, her son’s father is not the man in the video. 

The woman in the video was the child’s baby-sitter, Laughlin said; the man’s identity is unknown.


The sitter didn’t mention the incident when she brought the child home, David told the “Today” show. Instead, David said, she was told the child had fallen down some steps.

David reportedly wanted to hold the baby-sitter responsible, but there is little chance the case will head to court.

The prosecutor’s office reviewed the boy’s medical records after he was taken to a hospital “and we didn’t think [the incident] rose to the level of criminal charges,” Laughlin said.

The case, however, was turned over to New Jersey’s Division of Children and Families.


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